Download Adobe Reader

Alumni

Q&A with our Alumni

We caught up with a few of our alumni to see what they were up to in the world of preservation post graduation.

Neale Nickels, Director of Capital Projects for Historic Oakland Foundation

Neale NickelsWhat made you pursue a Historic Preservation Graduate Program? "I always enjoyed architecture, carpentry, and history and never really considered combining my interests until I landed a job working on the restoration of James Madison's Montpelier in my hometown of Orange, Virginia. It was there that I saw learned how architectural investigation and skilled tradesmanship could blend together to create something that was simultaneously academic and artisanal, and overall very fulfilling to be a part of. After that, I began to think about changing careers and eventually found the MSHP program, which satisfied my desire to learn about materials conservation and architectural history."

How has your Historic Preservation academic background lead you to the current role you are in now? "I currently serve as Director of Capital Projects for Historic Oakland Foundation, caretakers of Atlanta's oldest municipal cemetery and public greenspace, Historic Oakland Cemetery. The majority of what I do is project management, and working in a sensitive environment with significant historic resources requires a great deal of understanding of the needs of those resources. I have to make sure that we are consistent with our primary mission, which is to preserve and share the great resources in the cemetery, while balancing the need for modern infrastructure and amenities. Additionally, we work closely with our neighbors - residents and businesses - to ensure that the integrity of our community outside of our walls is in harmony with the sacred ground within. I would not be adequately prepared to represent the historic fabric of Oakland without graduate education."

What was the most rewarding part about studying Historic Preservation in Charleston, SC? "One of the best things about the graduate program was that we were given real-world projects and had to learn how to work as a team to serve our clients' needs. Of course, Charleston and the surrounding area is a veritable playground for preservationists. Many residents and owners of historic buildings opened their homes and businesses to our classes to serve as a living laboratory, which is a priceless amenity to the program. I felt truly prepared for my career after taking advantage of all that was offered to me during my time as a graduate student."

Nathan Betcher, Preservationist for Ft. Sumter National Monument, National Park Service

Nathan Betcher

What made you pursue a Historic Preservation Graduate Program? "Growing up I had always been interested in history.  Whether it was a house full of history books, or family visits to historic sites and museums, history had always been something very interesting to me.  After I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in History, I started looking at graduate school to continue my education. While looking for programs, I stumbled across the field of Historic Preservation and decided that it allowed me to continue studying history, but in a more hands-on way.  I made a few campus visits across the country, and completely fell in love with Charleston and the opportunities the program offered me."

How has your Historic Preservation academic background lead you to the current role you are in now? "It has had everything to do with my current job. I work for the National Park Service as the Preservationist for Ft. Sumter National Monument, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, and Reconstruction Era National Monument (in Beaufort, SC). Attending the program not only gave me some degree of familiarity with the sites already, but also the cultural landscapes associated with them.  My role not only involves know the physical history of the sites (ranging from 1820/30s house at Charles Pinckney to the 1962 Charleston Light), but also diverse topics such as the African American experience during Reconstruction, the military history of the area, and even agriculture. Knowing how buildings and structures are constructed and what leads to them failing helps with identifying ways to keep them preserved for the future. Some of the other skills I learned in the program such as documenting, surveying, and hands on skills (I spent the summer helping re-point the walls of Ft. Sumter) come into frequent use. Of course, the professional network that I was able to develop during my classes at MSHP through adjunct professors, alums, and professionals has been invaluable in helping getting different viewpoints or expertise on questions I have now."

What was the most rewarding part about studying Historic Preservation in Charleston, SC?  "Location plays a huge part. Being in a city like Charleston is a perfect place to learn as a preservationist since there are really so many different options for sites and landscapes to draw lessons from.  Obviously the skills I learned are invaluable in helping me further my career, so that is also attractive. However, I think the most rewarding thing for me is being part of the extended MSHP family.  It is always exciting not only to see faculty and other graduates in events around town, but also to meet current students going through the same things I went through not so long ago.

Meredith Wilson, Architectural Conservator with John Milner Associates Preservation

Meredith Wilson

What made you pursue a Historic Preservation Graduate Program? "I grew up in Meridian, MS, which was a railroad boom town that hit a bit of a rough patch when automobiles took off.  Since then, the historic downtown has fallen into disuse, with a succession of suburban shopping malls opening and closing and gradually moving farther and farther away from the city center.  I had always loved history, and looking at my hometown, I wondered what could be done to preserve and revitalize historic downtowns in a way that would benefit all members of the community.  I sort of stumbled upon the Clemson Historic Preservation Graduate Program in my second-to-last year in college.  A historic preservation degree combined history, which I love, with more practical skills, like urban planning and conservation, which I believed would be more beneficial to the broader community than a purely academic history degree would be.  It seemed like a perfect fit!  My time at the Clemson program showed me that there were academics and professionals from multiple disciplines – architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, and others – grappling with the issues I saw in my hometown.  It was a great thing to find a field I enjoyed that also offered solutions to very real problems."

How has your Historic Preservation academic background lead you to the current role you are in now? "I currently work as an architectural conservator with John Milner Associates Preservation, a preservation and conservation consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. I know that it was very important that the firm hire someone with hands-on laboratory and materials conservation experience to fill my position. At the Clemson program, I took both the general and advanced conservation laboratory classes, and I know that my laboratory experience was the principle reason I was offered my current position. As an architectural conservator, I perform paint analysis, mortar analysis, and other forms of material testing, including XRF analysis of historic metals.  All of these skills were taught at the Historic Preservation Graduate Program. I also got a solid background in preservation theory and the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, both of which come up on a daily basis as our team determines the most sensitive means of rehabilitating historic structures. The program’s commitment to familiarizing students with modern construction techniques and the preservation of 20th-century architecture has also been particularly useful, as much of my work involves buildings constructed after 1900."

What was the most rewarding part about studying Historic Preservation in Charleston, SC? "Charleston is such a living laboratory for historic preservation. With properties like Aiken Rhett, Drayton Hall, and Nathaniel Russel, you really get to see the full range of treatments for historic sites. Then with HCF, the Preservation Society, and the ARB, I had great examples for how to take preservation out of the museums and into communities. Charleston has been a part of the preservation movement from the very beginning, and I have yet to encounter any up-and-coming sectors of preservation that someone in Charleston doesn’t have a hand in. I constantly find that I’m using some Charleston site or neighborhood as an example when grappling with challenges on my projects in the DC area - whether that’s adapting paint consolidation techniques tested at Drayton Hall to original finishes in a Colonial Revival residence, or using Aiken Rhett as an example when exploring alternatives to interpreting a 19th-century museum house in Maryland."


More Alumni Spotlights

Meagan BacoMeagan Baco (2009) is currently the Director of Communications at Preservation Maryland. There she plans and designs their digital, print and web communications and is most excited about their new Six-to-Fix program. Recently she was Acting President of Preservation Action in Washington, DC, and is an active advocate for federal, state and local policy wherever she goes. Meagan is a founding member of Friends of the Greenbelt Theatre, Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, and Painting for Preservation. Immediately after getting her MSHP degree, Meagan worked as a professional preservationist with Clinton Brown Company Architecture.  With fellow ’09 graduate, Laura Burghardt, she co-founded Histpres, a job board for emerging preservationists, and has spoken about the young preservation movement at the National Preservation Conference amongst many regional conferences.Trish Lowe Smith

Trish Lowe Smith (2010) is the Curator of Historic Architectural Resources at Drayton Hall where she began work in 2010 as a Wood Family Fellow.  In 2013, Smith was awarded a residential fellowship at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Digital History Center to study the application of 3D visualization technology for the documentation and interpretation of cultural heritage sites. During her tenure at Drayton Hall she has built a preservation archive, carried out several architectural conservation projects, launched a digital restoration of Drayton Hall, and managed the structural rehabilitation of the site’s iconic portico.

Brittany Lavelle TullaBrittany Lavelle Tulla (2012) is the owner and lead historic researcher of BVL Historic Preservation Research, headquartered in Charleston, where she is currently working on a wide range of projects including the nomination of Charleston as a World Heritage Site and National Register nominations for property owners. Brittany is teaching as an adjunct in the College of Charleston's undergraduate historic preservation and community planning program.  She serves on committees for local preservation groups and recently started the Young Preservationists of Charleston, a diverse group of young residents who advocate for the history of Charleston and a healthy future.

Emily FordEmily Ford (2013) owns and operates Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation LLC, a  New Orleans-based cemetery preservation company dedicated to the stewardship of the historic tombs, copings, monuments, and landscapes of historic cemeteries. Emily contributes to the missions of multiple Louisiana preservation groups as an independent consultant.  Her first publication The Jews of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta: A History of Life and Community along the Bayou, co-authored with Dr. Barry Stiefel, continues to be a resource for researchers on Southern Jewish history.  Her thesis research on cemetery craftsmen in New Orleans has expanded to all New Orleans cemeteries and time periods, and will soon be formatted for publication.

CLASS OF 2018

Matt Amis: Specialist Historic Building Surveyor, Hutton and Rostron, Guildford, Surrey
Alix Barrett: ReNew Urban
Nathan Betcher, Preservationist, National Park Service at Fort Sumter National Monument - Sullivans Island, SC
Sam Biggers: Kjellstrom & Lee, VA
Claire Bushemi
Andi Cooper, Bennett Preservation, Charleston, SC
Mary Fesak, PhD  History student, University of Delaware
Kate Gallotta, Cultural Resource Specialist, SES Companies
Diana Inthavong
Lauren Lindsey: Studio 3 Design Group, Augusta, GA
Steven Lyles: Richard Marks Restorations, Charleston, SC
Katie Martin
Torie McCollum: CAD technician, Kevin Reiner Design, Columbus, OH
Kristina Poston: New South Associates, Columbia, SC

CLASS OF 2017

Jen Baehr: Assitant Planner, City of Flake Forest, IL
Cassie Cline: Planning Technician, Charleston County, SC
Caroline Darnell: County Planner, Pearson County, NC
Alena Franco: Outreach and Grants Coordinator, Utah Division of State History
Kirsten Freeman: Seasonal Architectural Historian at Fort Wainwright, Alaska
Morgan Granger: Planner, City of St. Mary's Georgia
Clayton Johnson: Historic Preservation Specialist/ Architectural Associate, Tony Johnson Architect, Clayton, NC
Jen Leeds: Architectural Designer, EYP, Washington DC
Kymberly Mattern: Grounds Conservation Manager, Historic Congressional Cemetery
Meg Olson
Ben Walker: National Register Assistant, North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office

CLASS OF 2016

Jane Ashburn: Program Coordinator, Preservation Texas
Amanda Brown: Architectural Preservationist, Bennett Preservation Engineering
Naomi Doddington: Project Engineer, Consigli Construction, Washington, DC
John Evangelist: Project Manager, Duckworth Property Development
Brent Fortenberry: Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture
Jessica Fortney: Nebraska's State Historic Preservation Office National Register and Certified Local Government Coordinator
Haley Schriber: Architectural Historian, WSP
Anna Simpkins: Graduate Student, Construction Management, Colorado State University
Jean Stoll: Aeon Preservation Services
Michelle Thompson
Rachel Walling: Preservation Planner, City of Columbia, SC
Meghan White: Assistant Editor, Preservation magazine, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Meredith Wilson: Architectural Conservator, John Milner Associates Preservation

CLASS OF 2015

Claire Achtyl: Historic Preservation Specialist, Warren Lasch Conservation Center
Amber Anderson: Tax Credit Coordinator, Utah State Historic Preservation Office
Shannon Wright: Historical Architecture Review Board (HARB) Consultant and Keystone Community Development Coordinator for the Borough of Bellefonte, PA
Jackie Don: Restoric
Alison Dunleavy: Historic Preservation Specialist, Rosin Preservation
Katie Dykens: Architectural Historian, New South Associates
Lauren Hoopes: Architectural Historian, Louis Berger
Taylor Johnston: Architectural Designer, Meadors, Inc.
Sarah Sanders: Architectural Historian, AECOM
Justin Schwebler: Historic Preservation Specialist, Warren Lasch Conservation Center
Melanie Weston: Window Shop Manager, Heritage Restoration, Inc., Providence RI
Laura Lee Worrell: Project Manager and Designs, Solid Renovations

CLASS OF 2014

Kendy Altizer: Ph.D candidate and teaching associate, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Megan Funk: Executive Director, Georgetown Main Street Program
Kelly Herrick: Education Aid, Historic Oak View County Park
Lindsay Lanois: Historic Preservation Planner, East Tennessee Deveoplment District
Lindsay Lee: Arcadia Publishing
Brittany McKee: Architectural Historian, Thomason and Associates
Valerie McCluskey: Preservation Manager, Cogswell’s Grant & Coolidge Point: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Historic New England
Erin Morton: Historic Rehab Designer, Belk Architecture
Melissa Roach: Project Coordinator, Vera Conractos, Tampa FL
Leigh Schoberth: Preservation Policy Associate, Preservation Society of Newport County
Will Smith

CLASS OF 2013

Laurel Bartlett: PhD Candidate/Graduate Teaching Assistant, Planning, Design, and the Built Environment, Clemson University; Architectural Historian, SEARCH
Charlotte Causey
Emily Ford: principle/founder, Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC
Julianne Johnson: Development and Events Coordinator, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation
Pam Kendrick: Historic Architecture Consultant, SC SHPO
Wendy Madill: 
Neale Nickels: Director of Preservation, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation; Part-time instructor for Master in Heritage Preservation,  Gerogia State University
Rebecca Quandt-Ziegler: Downtown Revitalization Urban Development Manager, City of Salem
Mary Margaret Schley: 
Liz Shaw: Retail & Special Events, Texas State Preservation Board
Karl Sondermann: Lieutenant Colonel Karl Sonderman, US Army Operations Officer and Military Historian for Arlington National Cemetery
Julia Tew: Engineer, Samet Corporation
Amy Elizabeth Uebel: EverGreene Architectural Arts
Dan Watts: Data and Mapping Coordinator, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

CLASS OF 2012

Caglar Aydin: PhD student and Research/Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Architecture, Karadeniz Technical University
Katherine Ferguson: Marketing Manager, MacRostie Historic Advisors
Kelly Finnigan Mechling
Lauren Golden: Trail and Stewardship Manager, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Elise Haremski: Program Manager, Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties.
Elyse Harvey: Director of Sales and Marketing, Prism Home and Building Inspections
Brittany Lavelle: founder/owner, BVL Historic Preservation Research
Rebecca Long: Michigan Barn and Farmstead Survey Administrator, Michigan Barn Preservation Network
Stefanie Marasco: Assistant Community Manager, Associated Asset Management
Joe Reynolds: Front of House Manager, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland Maine
Mariah Schwartz: Director of Commissioning Services, Whole Building Systems, LLC
Syra Valiente: Freelance Architect, Quezon City, Philippines
David Weirick: Architect, Klein and Hoffman
Jamie Wiedman: Design Consultant, Boyce Design & Contracting

CLASS OF 2011

Lauren Cannady: The Versailles Fellowship Exchange
Shelton Converse: Broker, Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty
Lora Cunningham: Facilities Project Implementation and Planning Manager, Boeing
Laura Beth Ingle: Architectural Historian, Georgia SHPO
Alissa Keller: Director, Pennyroyal Area Museum
Kristina Lanphear Ravenel: Project Manager, Huss Inc., Charleston, SC
Rebecca Moffatt
Christine Mathieson: Historic Preservation Specialist, National Register Coordinator, Tennessee Historical Commission (SHPO)
Ryan Pierce: Architect, Heritage Documentation Program, National Park Service
Grace Washam Abernethy: Director of Preservation, Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation, Franklin, TN

CLASS OF 2010

Kelly Ciociola: Arch. & Sculptural Conservator, Krelick Conservation, LLC
Rebecca Cybularz: Historical Architect, National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center
Eileen Grogan: Historic Preservation Specialist, Conrad Schmitt Studios Inc.
Patricia Lowe Smith: Curator of Historic Architectural Resources, Drayton Hall
Kim Martin
Erin McNicholl
Amelia Millar
Rachel Rice Klaas: Tax Incentives Specialist, Georgia SHPO
Katherine Stamps: Website Manager, Historic Huntsville Foundation; Architectural Historian, Redstone Arsenal (contracted via Alexander Archaeological Consultants, Inc.)
Josslyn Stiner: Public Information Coordinator, Huntington Beach State Park
Chris Surber

CLASS OF 2009

Meagan Baco: Director of Communications, Preservation Maryland
Jeremy Bradham: Preservation Specialist, Capital Area Preservation
Laura Burghardt Tenen: Cultural Resources Project Director, Harris Enviromental Group, Tucson AZ
Jessica Golebiowski Richardson: Tax Credit Reviewer, LA SHPO
Sarah Kollar
Emily Martin
Bridget O’Brien
Matt Pelz: Preservation Services Project Coordinator, Galveston Historical Foundation
Sarah Welniak Lithgow: Renewals Specialist for Arts & Cultural Organizations, Blackbaud
Chase Williston

CLASS OF 2008

Jaime Destefano: Principal Architectural Historian, History, Inc.
Natalie Ford: Program Coordinator, LSU-OLOL Psychiatry Residency Program
Jason Grismore: Architectural Historian & Archaeology Field Director/Supervisor, URS Corporation; Environmental HP Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Baton Rouge, LA & Mississippi
Will Hamilton: Properties Coordinator, Historic Charleston Foundation
Kimberly Jones: Membership Manager, Preservation Society of Charleston
Hillary King: Arch. Conservator, Bennett Preservation Engineering, PC
Helen Moore: MS - Library & Information Science, Dec. 2011
Xana Peltola
Julius Richardson: Intern Architect, Kevin Harris Architect, LLC
Meg Richardson Pagan: Environmental Review Historian, Georgia SHPO
Jamie Zwolak: Historic Preservation Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency

CLASS OF 2007

Sandi (Feaster) Dunlap: City Administrator,  Historic Chester, SC
Kate Joseph: Arch. Historian, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Marketing & Development
Katie Lawrance (West): Campus Architect, Facilities Planning, College of Charleston
Kim (Norton) Gant: CLG and Survey Program Coordinator, Washington SHPO
Chris Ohm
Genevieve Prosser
Caroline Ross
Kate Stojsavljevic: Environmental Protection Specialist, FEMA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Office in  Philadelphia
Paul Woodward: Construction Coordinator, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

CLASS OF 2006

Adrienne Jacobsen: Associate, Glenn Keyes Architects
Angela (Kleinschmidt) Flenner: Digital Services Librarian, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston; Associate Director, Lowcountry Digital Library
Jennifer Mortensen
Cameron S. Schwabenton: Cameron Stewart, Ltd. Co.
Josh Skinner
Celeste Wiley: Visual Materials Archivist, South Carolina Historical Society

CERTIFICATES

Elizabeth Jackson McGee: Designer and Architect, Cheatham Fletcher Scott Architects
Sean Hoelscher: Planner, City of North Myrtle Beach, SC
Kavan Argue